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Tuesday
Jun072011

Theological Term of the Week

vocation, doctrine of
The teaching that all labor is a divine calling and a means by which God works his providential care for creation, so that all work has meaning as service to Christ; the teaching that all of life submitted to God is sacred and all honest work is holy.

  • From scripture: 

    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

    27 So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

    28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” … 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26-28, 31 ESV).

  • From Living for God’s Glory by Joel Beeke:1 
    Reformed teachings regarding work can be summarized in the following points: 

    1. God works, and we are called to bear His image.
    2. God derives satisfaction from His work.
    3. God provides for us through our work. 
    4. God has commanded man to work, and to work within the framework of His commands.
    5. God holds us accountable for our work and expects to be acknowledged through it. 
    6. God provides particular gifts designed to meet particular needs in the advancement of His kingdom.
    7. The fall radically affected our work. Work becomes toil; thorns and thistles frustrate our efforts; fallen man seeks to glorify himself rather than his Creator through work.
    8. Work is an individual as well as a social activity.
    9. God takes pleasure in beauty, and the Scriptures do not focus simply on the functional and utilitarian aspects of work.
    10. Christ worked as part of His active obedience, and the believer’s work through Christ is part of obedience.

Learn more:

  1. Gene Edward Veith: The Doctrine of Vocation
  2. Gene Edward Veith: Our Calling and God’s Glory
  3. Aaron Armstrong: Your Work Is Your Calling
  4. Tim Keller: Vocation: Discerning Your Calling
  5. Stan Reeves: The Spirituality of Work
  6. Jerram Barrs: Work: A Holy Calling 
  7. J. I. Packer: 3 Short Videos on Vocation
  8. Dr. Robert S. Rayburn: Theology of Work Sermons (transcripts and mp3s)

Related terms:

Filed under Anthropology.

1The chapter from which this is taken is written by Ray Pennings.

Do you have a term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

Monday
Jun062011

Redemption Followed by Obedience

From Tom Schreiner, in 40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law, in his answer to the question, “Was the Mosaic covenant legalistic?”

Observing the Ten Commandments did not constitute the basis upon which Israel would gain life. Israel was rescued by the Lord from Egypt and borne upon eagles’ wings (Exod. 19:4). Before the Ten Commandments were given, the Lord declared, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery’ (Exod. 20:2). The giving of the law followed the salvation of Israel, and hence such obedience signified Israel’s grateful response to the redemption accomplished by the Lord. There is no basis in the text for the idea that Israel’s obedience established a relationship with the Lord. The Lord took the initiative in rescuing his people, and they were called upon to respond with faithful obedience.

The gracious character of the Mosaic covenant is supported by the structure of the covenant. Many scholars have argued that the Mosaic covenant represents a suzerain-vassal treaty in which Yahweh is the great suzerain and Israel the vassal. In such treaties the historical prologue, which recounts what the suzerain has done to benefit his vassals, precedes the covenant stipulations and the covenant curses. In the same way, the Lord recounts in the covenant structure what he has done for Israel (historical prologue) in delivering them from Egypt and preserving them from their enemies before he gives them covenant stipulations (the law). The Lord also promises them covenantal blessings if they obey or threatens them with covenantal curses if they disobey. The pattern established in the Mosaic covenant, which is redemption followed by obedience, functions as a type or pattern for New Testament believers. Believers have been redeemed through the work of Christ, and they respond to his saving mercy with grateful obedience. Such grateful obedience, under both the Mosaic covenant and the new covenant established by Jesus Christ, is not legalistic, for there is no idea that such obedience earns or merits salvation under either the old covenant or the new. The obedience of believers flows from faith and is a thankful response to God’s saving work in Christ.

What do you think?

Monday
Jun062011

A Catechism for Girls and Boys

Part II: Questions about The Ten Commandments

37. Q. What do the last six commandments teach?
      A. Our duty to our fellow men.

(Click through to read scriptural proof.)

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun052011

Sunday's Hymn

Come, Gracious Spirit, Heav’nly Dove

Come, gracious Spirit, heav’nly Dove,
With light and comfort from above;
Be Thou our Guardian, Thou our Guide,
O’er every thought and step preside,
O’er every thought and step preside.

The light of truth to us display,
And make us know and choose Thy way;
Plant holy fear in every heart,
That we from God may ne’er depart,
That we from God may ne’er depart.

Lead us to holiness, the road
Which we must take to dwell with God;
Lead us to Christ, the living way,
Nor let us from His pastures stray,
Nor let us from His pastures stray.

Lead us to God, our final rest,
To be with Him forever blest;
Lead us to Heav’n, its bliss to share,
Fullness of joy forever there,
Fullness of joy forever there.

Simon Browne

Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the li

Friday
Jun032011

This Week in Housekeeping

Recently updated Theological Term of the Week post:

inspiration of scripture

inerrancy of scripture